A woman sneaking into the U.S. in a suitcase was caught red-handed Dec. 30, though officials only announced her arrest Monday. A Thai former resident of the U.S., 48-year-old Pornkamol Mongkolsermask was found in the back of an SUV in a large suitcase trying to cross the border from Mexico into Nogales, Arizona.
The unusual incident took place around the holidays, as an unidentified 56-year-old Phoenix man was attempting to cross the border into Arizona from Mexico. It is unknown what tipped border police off that something was off, but they discovered the small Thai woman curled up in a suitcase in the back of the Honda SUV. The man had even tried to hide Mongkolsermask by covering her with a pile of clothes.
"Rarely do we see something like this," Edith Serrano, a spokeswoman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, told Reuters. "You can imagine the officers' surprise when they came upon this woman crammed inside a suitcase, but there she was."
Mongkolsermask managed to fit inside by curling into a ball and using a soft-sided suitcase for her illegal entry into the U.S. She was apparently once a citizen, as she was charged with re-entry after deportation, according to Customs and Border Protection spokesman Victor Brabble.
Both Mongkosermask and her Phoenix accomplice have been turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after their crafty but ultimately futile attempt to cross the border.
It is unknown if the Thai woman has hired a lawyer. The Honda SUV was seized.